Anyone else sick of talking about the horrorshow that was 2020? Anyone?
Look, we get it. These were unprecedented times. What brand or person couldn’t help but talk about all the shit that went down this past year? We sure did.
But this blog post isn’t gonna be one long venting session, because we’ve had enough of that. (And honestly, it’s why we pay for therapy.) Instead, we want to look back at the lessons that 2020 taught us. What we learned from all the bad experiences, all the good stuff we enjoyed, and everything in between.
Rona’s rules of business
“Coronavirus” and “2020” are basically synonymous at this point, so let’s get what we learned from Rona out of the way. We learned quickly that things can change in an instant. If it makes sense for your brand and business to have an online presence, then it damn well better. We thank our lucky stars that we run the Uncanny Content biz online.
You might think, “Well, I own a restaurant/salon/bookstore. Or I’m a personal fitness trainer/skincare consultant/financial planner/whatever. What do I need a website or blog for?? My shop or services are all in person!”
That may be true, and we’re sure that 2020 was unbelievably challenging for your business. Kudos to you for toughing it out, seriously. But 2020 taught us that no matter what you sell or offer, you need to be flexible enough to pivot your biz online. Pivot, not change completely.
Restaurant owners, host an easy online ordering service on your website when you can’t have in-person dining. Your regular diners will thank you for it. Health and wellness experts, if you can’t meet your clients in person, make it easy for them to meet you online through Zoom or other HIPAA-compliant platforms.
And everyone: you can always share more about your brand with your audience through a blog. Talk about how you came up with the most popular dish in your restaurant! Share your favorite book picks every week! Post workouts/skincare advice/budgeting tips for people stuck at home!
If there’s one thing you should take away from this blog post, it’s that your business better be online.
What you say and do matters (duh)
ICYMI, Latasha made it clear where she and the Uncanny Content team stood as an anti-racist brand this past year. Our posts about Black Lives Matter and racism on social media were not meant to virtue-signal, or throw our voice into the mix just because it was “trendy” at the time. It was the right thing to do.
Since then, the UC team has continued to further our anti-racism education by reading books, listening to podcasts, learning from others, and being more mindful of what we say and how we act.
Here is just a fraction of what we read or listened to that we recommend:
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal Marie Fleming
- Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Heavy by Kiese Laymon
- “How Microaggressions Destroyed My Dream of Living in Suburbia” by Thao Thai
- Danielle Coke’s art on her Instagram, @ohhappydani
As a team of content and copy writers, one of the best resources we were given was this table, Alternatives and Substitutes for Appropriative or Problematic Language. Anytime you post something “sassy” or “witty” or “street savvy” online, be mindful of the fact that you could be appropriating African American Vernacular English (AAVE). And that’s not okay.
It’s no longer acceptable to post whatever you want willy-nilly on the internet without thinking about it — or without consequences. Your words have an impact on others. Make ‘em count.
Clients are good teachers
We freakin’ love the people we work with. You all are inspiring, hilarious, sweet, creative, and let’s just stop there before this gets too mushy.
You, dear clients, reminded us that caring is a superpower and kindness is cool. You don’t have to be aloof and indifferent if that’s not really who you are. And it’s better for your biz if you genuinely care and have passion, right?
Clients also taught us — or rather, reminded us — that we’re contractors. If you hire a contractor for your company, please remember that you do not have control over their schedule, their biz, or their services. Business is business. Stop making it personal.
Important writing lessons
Boy, did 2020 teach us a thing or two about what and how we write. (Yes, even professional content writers keep learning about the craft!) For your entertainment, here is a quick bullet list.
- No more social. NONE. It was a hard decision, but we said goodbye to social media as a service. The space changes so fast, and it can become a real vanity metric suck for clients. Plus, with 2020, shit hit the fan about 47 times, and we had to spend time editing weeks of social for tact and care. It quickly became a nightmare.
- Conversion copywriting doesn’t always work. If you don’t have a voice that stands out, it’ll probably fail. And if you’re using some conversion sales page templates, you’re going to come across sounding like a sales person, rather than the true voice of your brand.
- Be your unique self. To expand on that last point a bit, we are so tired of expensive sales pages and tiny offer templates. Guess what? Your customers don’t want to see the same outline that everyone uses in your industry. BE DIFFERENT.
- Content management and repurposing is our superpower. Yes, we’re great writers. Yes, we get your copy and content out into the ether. But we make sure your ideas get maximum traction so you can be present in the ways that feel good — so you don’t feel like you’re stretched too thin.
Important biz lessons
We wrote this blog about our brand values back in February, and we had no idea how much we’d need to reconnect and abide by them in the months to follow.
For Latasha, collaboration and mastery were the two values that rose to the top in 2020. Uncanny Content is no longer just about writing on-brand content. It’s about trusting experts on other client teams. It’s about really knowing what our strengths are as a business and mastering them so we can give our clients what they need.
For Jess, authenticity topped the list. Being “authentic” doesn’t just mean letting your brand personality shine. It also means being true to your values. Standing up for what you believe in. Being brave enough to have opinions. And as contractors, being committed and authentic to our clients’ businesses and brands, too.
Our goals and intentions for 2021
What can you expect from Uncanny Content in 2021?
If you’re a new client, veteran client, or potential client lurking in the shadows wondering whether you want to hire us (we see you), know that our primary goal is to support everyone with content strategy, management, and execution that helps get their message out the way they want. That’s our bread-and-butter, after all.
We’ll be finishing up the Minority Women Business Grant, which we announced in August. It’s been a blast working with a team of skilled women on this project, and we can’t wait for the final reveal in February 2021!
On a personal note, 2021 is the year of babies. Latasha’s friends and family are all expecting in early 2021, so we’ll be working to make space for #allthebabysnuggles. So. EXCITED.
Lastly, we’ll continue to live and work with our values. We are not the content agency to hire if you’re looking to sell with gross tactics or using formulas created by predatory bro marketers. Or if you want to use lines like, “If you don’t buy this, you could ruin your business AND your health” in your copy. (That’s real, from a major “conversion copywriter” in the industry.) If that’s you, keep walking.
We are the content agency to hire if you want ideas that connect you to your people — and make sure you’re sharing those ideas consistently and creatively. Thanks for making 2020 such a wild ride, folks. See you all in the New Year!
We are currently booked until March 2021. If you want to get on our waitlist, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!